27.04.2022 Events, Literature, News, Polish-Jewish Relations

KRZYSZTOF CZYŻEWSKI—Toward Xenopolis Visions from the Borderland


RSVP Book Launch
Wednesday, April 27 at 7-9 PM ET

The Kosciuszko Foundation
15 E 65th St
New York, NY 10065

Please join New School for a conversation with Krzysztof Czyzewski, Timothy Snyder, Irena Grudzińska Gross, Jeffrey C. Goldfarb and Elzbieta Matynia. This is an off-campus in-person event. Free and open to the public. You MUST RVSP in order to attend. Presented by the Transregional Center for Democratic Studies (TCDS), the Kościuszko Foundation, and the Democracy Seminar at The New School for Social Research.

Polish Cultural Institute New York’s audiences can get 30% off Toward Xenopolis: Visions from the Borderland with promo code BB998 when you order online by August 31, 2022 at www.boydellandbrewer.com.

How do we build civil society? How does a society repair itself after violence? How do we live in a world with others different from ourselves? 

These questions lie at the heart of Krzysztof Czyzewski’s writing and his work with Fundacja Pogranicze, the Borderland Foundation, at the border of Lithuania, Poland, and Belarus. Writing from the heartland of Europe’s violence and creativity, Czyzewski seeks to explain how we can relate better to each other and to our diverse communities. Building on examples of places and people in East-Central Europe, Czyzewski’s essays offer readers concepts such as the invisible bridge, the nejmar (the bridge-builder), and the xenopolis (the city of others), which create community throughout the world. 

The three sections of the book—concepts, places, and practices—show how this cultural work bridges the divide between concepts and practices and offers a new map of Europe. Ultimately, Czyzewski hopes we can all move toward xenopolis, toward the understanding that others are, in fact, ourselves. This book offers an introduction to Czyzewski’s work, with framing essays by specialists in Central and East European history.

KRZYSZTOF CZYŻEWSKI, a writer and artist, is one of the founders of the Borderland Foundation in Sejny, Poland.

MAYHILL C. FOWLER is Associate Professor of History at Stetson University.
TIMOTHY SNYDER is the Richard C. Levin Professor of History at Yale University. He is the author of numerous books on East and Central European history.

To purchase a copy of the book, please visit www.boydellandbrewer.com.
For media enquiries: please write to marketing@boydellusa.net

Krzysztof Czyżewski

Biography source: Wikipedia

Krzysztof Czyżewski (born 6 July 1958 in Warsaw) is a Polish author, one of the initiators of the Borderland Foundation in Sejny, Poland.

He is a graduate in Polish literature from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. Initially closely related to the avant-garde theatre movements. He was one of the co-creators of the “Gardzienice” Theatre with which he worked from 1977 up to 1983.

In 1983, during the martial law in Poland he establishes the periodical “Czas Kultury” (Time of Culture), which after 1989 came of the “underground” (became legal). In the second half of the eighties he has been giving lectures about the history of culture and aesthetics in the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznań. At the same time he establishes the “Arka” theatre and initiates the “Meeting Village” project in Czarna Dabrówka in Kaszuby Region in which alternative theatre and culture creators of all Europe and America has been participating.

In 1990, he became one of the initiators of the “Borderland” Foundation and its president. In 1991, he established the Centre “Borderland of Cultures, Arts, Nations” and became its director. It is a cultural institution co-founded by Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and Podlaskie Province Regional Assembly Government. The centre is located in a small town Sejny, former “shtetl”, on the Polish-Lithuanian-Belarusian borderland. The “Borderland” revitalized the Jewish quarter in a very centre of the town, and has its studios for art and education programs in former Hebrew gymnasium, yeshiva and synagogue.

In 2011, June 30, for the centenary of Czesław Miłosz‘s birth and for the beginning of Polish Presidency in European Union, together with his Borderland team he opened an International Center for Dialog in Krasnogruda near Sejny in the reconstructed manor house of once Milosz’s family.

In the framework of the Foundation and The Centre he realizes among others the following projects: Meeting the Other or on Virtue of Tolerance, The Memory of Ancient Times, Home – Nest – Temple, Central European Cultural Forum, Open Region of Central and Eastern Europe, The Borderland Culture Documentary Centre, The Borderland School, Class of Cultural Heritage, Café Europa, Glass Bead Game, Mobile Academy “New Agora”, Laboratories of Intercultural Dialog, Tales of Coexistence, Medea/Ponte.In 2007 he was invited by University of Michigan to deliver a prestigious “Copernicus Lecture”.

He was a lecturer and speaker of the University of Fine Arts in PoznańUniversity of WarsawVilnius University, New School University (New York), Transregional Center for Democratic Studies (Cracow), Salzburg Seminar, Center for Humanities at Lviv UniversityIlia State University in Tbilisi, Harvard UniversityUniversity of California, Berkeley, and the Public Libraries of New York, Los Angeles, and Toronto. From the spring semester of 2015 he is a visiting professor of Rutgers University (Urban Civic Initiative) and University of Bologna.

He coordinates several projects about intercultural dialogue in Europe, CaucasusCentral AsiaIndonesiaBhutan and USA.

He was an artistic director of the Lublin candidacy for European Capital of Culture and was nominated as an artistic director of European Capital of Culture Wroclaw 2016, keeping this position for years 2012–2013.

For many years he was a member of the Art and Culture Sub-Board in Open Society Institute in Budapest and a President of European Network of Literary Centers HALMA (Berlin). He is a Chairman of the Jury of the Irena Sendlerowa Prize (Warsaw) and a President of the Board of Eastern Partnership Congress of Culture (Lublin).

Member of the Remarque Circle (New York University), Board of the Czeslaw Milosz Birthplace Foundation (Kaunas), The International Institute for the Study of Culture and Education (Wroclaw), The Art and Modernity Foundation (Warsaw). In 2003 he was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship.[4]

In 1993 he becomes the founder and editor-in-chief of the “Krasnogruda” magazine, devoted to Central and Eastern European cultures, art and literature. He is editor of Borderland Publishing House, in charge of the series “Meridian” and “Neighbours”.

He lives in Krasnogruda on Polish-Lithuanian border with wife Mołgorzata and two children, Weronika and Stanislaw.

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